Honour the elderly as we do our own aged parents

Practising the new definition of filial piety

Co-organisers: Nirvana Asia Group, Sin Chew Daily, New Era University College

About a decade ago, the “Golden Years” section was established as a weekly section in “Sin Chew Plus” in hopes that people would draw attention to the elderly; because today’s elderly is our tomorrow.

Malaysia appears to lack awareness of the need to be prepared for the “senior years”. Five years later the “Golden Years” section was “upgraded” to become “Love Always” because after years of observation, it was discovered that the issues faced by the elderly also include long-term family care, senior disabilities, end-of-life care, and other practical problems. Without long-term care, especially from “family caregivers”, the elderly are unable to lead quality lives. Family caregivers also ned an outlet to relieve their emotions and alleviate stress from the pressures of long-term care.

Hence, we established the “We Care Family” Malaysian family caregivers support group and the “Life Care” Facebook pages, as well as various large and small-scale seminars and online activities so that family caregivers can cheer each other up and share experiences.

However, the deeper we ventured into the field, the more we realised the lack of resources in the area of Malaysian elderly care. We still have to work on education, training, advocacy and promotion.

Today, we are determined to upgrade our efforts again, not only to strengthen advocacy, but also in “humanities and training” – so “Sin Chew Daily”, Nirvana Asia Group and New Era University College’s Institute of Ageing and Professional Care combined resources to form a triple alliance and issue a call to society to “honour the elderly as we do our own aged parents”. We hope to also reinterpret “Honouring the Elderly” with a modern meaning and to make “filial piety” less burdensome.

At the same time, we want to promote and increase the number of courses on elderly caregiving and training more family caregivers in advance. We believe that the seeds planted will eventually bear fruit one day.

The mindset of contemporary senior citizens is different from those of the past, and “filial piety” must also adapt to changing times.

The aim of “Golden Years” was to raise awareness, and “Love Always” focused on family care and the mental comfort of the dying, while “Honouring the Elderly” will concentrate on interpreting the humanistic significance of filial piety in the new era and work hard on training family caregivers.

Our spirit of caring for the elderly remains the same, we are simply asking ourselves to go deeper. We look forward to having you with us as continue our journey.